The Centre for Entrepreneurship Development and Incubation (CEDI), National Institute of Technology – Tiruchi (NIT-T), has identified more than 15 potential candidates for providing incubation support.

During a promotional event here on Saturday, they were oriented on how to register the companies they propose to start, when and how seed money will be given, and how to access the infrastructure in NIT-T.

Addressing the promotional event, NIT-T Director and CEO of CEDI S.Sundarrajan said the centre’s focus will be on contribution to economy through development of entrepreneurs in electronics and IT domains.

NIT-T, he said, was in the league of a few leading institutions, including Indian Institutes of Technology, to establish CEDI as a Section 25 company to support and benefit through commercial activities, which are typically not the forte of academic institutions.

"CEDI will be incubate about 5-6 entrepreneurs in the first year. Incubation support includes policy measures, creating appropriate frameworks, infrastructure support, entrepreneurial- training and IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) facilitation," G.Kannabiran, Project Investigator and Professor, Department of Management Studies, NIT-T, said. The CEDI, he informed, will network with Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists who provide mentoring and financial support to start-ups. The Centre will enable tenant companies to gradually mature over a period of two to three years and then shift to a commercial place for further expansion, said Prof.Kannabiran.

Elaborating further, A.K.Bakthavatsalam, member, CEDI Board, said CEDI will provide operating space to the selected companies, nurture them and mobilize technical, mentoring, managerial, financial, administrative, legal and other support as required by them. The operating space will be provided on rent for up to two years (extendable by one year). The companies selected for incubation would get financial support, in the form of seed funding up to Rs.25lakhs. The seed funding can be used for procuring equipment and consumables essential for the project .

The selection process will be done on the basis of a detailed techno-commercial proposal including a business plan, submitted by prospective entrepreneurs. The proposal would be evaluated on its technical merits and commercial viability . The committee will recommend the duration and terms of support to the prospective entrepreneurs, Prof.Bakthavatsalam added.

NIT-T’s research and development infrastructure will be made available to the entrepreneurs, and CEDI will also provide marketing and promotional support, besides market research guidance, G.Lakshminarayan, member, CEDI Board, assured.